[black friday] balance restored.

30 11 2011

black friday when all nuts this year. some stores opened at midnight, some at 4, some at 6… all of which made it nearly impossible for me to form a workable plan for a pleasant shopping experience. what was i supposed to do, hit the old navy and the target at midnight and then hang out at the denny’s until the mall opened?

NO. my digestive system could not take such a beating (although i still really do want to try out that grilled cheese with the mozzarella stix embedded inside, even though i know it’s wrong)!

i considered just hitting the midnight store and then going back later in the morning… but that also seemed less than ideal in terms of efficiency. so i decided to do something a little different this year- SLEEP IN.

it was actually kind of awesome. and then around 7, i leisurely got up, walked the dog, and headed to the mall. considering that i don’t need any big ticket electronics, and all the cheap movie titles were complete crap, it wasn’t like i was missing anything anyway (other than shivering in the cold with a bunch of other cranky folks who are more than willing to elbow you in the throat to get the last creepy stalker barbie).

and since i had already slept through the “best” deals, i also felt little pressure to hit the big boxes and try to scrape up what was left. so i just went wherever the hell i wanted regardless of big signs yelling DOORBUSTERS! and here is what i got: Read the rest of this entry »





suck-o-ween is where it’s at.

24 10 2011
http://www.wholesalehalloweencostumes.com/adult-costumes/sexy-costumes/80s-costumes/ML70299-includes-dress-hat-glove-and-knee-highs.html

why yes, i am dressed as michael jackson if he were a low rent hooker.

as you may have noticed at this point, i’m not a big fan of commercial halloween costumes. not only do they tend to be poorly made and overpriced, but they are unfailingly a train wreck of bad ideas, tasteless jokes, and misogynistic clichés. either that, or they’re straight up stupid. in short, THEY SUUUUUCK.

every year, i like to do a little roundup of all the worst possible halloween costumes available on the retail market, and attempt to convince the masses that they’re so much better than the slut and dick joke parade, and hopefully inspire them to go home made or go home.

here is this year’s evidence… Read the rest of this entry »





i spy- cheap shower curtains.

9 10 2011

i have had the same shower curtain since 2008 (a vintage yellow floral affair that i bought off ebay when i was attempting to set up my perfect post-divorce bachelorette pad). as with all vinyl shower curtains, it periodically gets covered in mildewy scunge and requires a good scraping. however, after 3 long years of service, it’s not quite bouncing back the way it once did. also, getting on your hands and knees and scrubbing down a vinyl shower curtain with with a bottle of formula 409 and a mr. clean magic eraser is tiresome.

honestly, i would have bought a new shower curtain years ago, but they’re too goddamn expensive. every single time i go to the store with the intention of purchasing a new shower curtain, the following internal conversation occurs:

“all these shower curtains are hideous.”

“well, i guess this one isn’t too bad…”

“$19.99? are you fucking kidding me?”

screw that.” [leaves store sans shower curtain]

at which point i unearth the magic eraser and call it good. i recently found a purple zebra shower curtain at big lots for $4, and thought i had hit the jackpot.

but today was a game changer. all the dorm room crap at target was loaded onto the endcaps at target for 75% off. including and especially, a huge pile of cute vinyl shower curtains for $2.12 each. i bought 4.  at my current rate, i won’t need another shower curtain until 2023. (there were also at least 20 left over. go! go now!).

today was a good day.

* as a bonus, i also got a super cute pair of yoga pants for $3.34. i think the 75% off section of the sleepwear/fitnesswear section is often overlooked.





the september issue.

9 09 2011

if you’ve ever been a reader of fashion magazines, you know that the september issue is notoriously huge (usually about 2 inches thick). one would think that its increased bulk is due solely to the coverage of the fall collections, but one would be wrong. sure, maybe fashion week coverage adds a few pages here and there, but far more than half of the 758 pages in this year’s september issue are ads, ads, and oh- isn’t that some more ads over there?

now, these ads are usually for all sorts of high and brands- your standards chanels, and guccis and marc jacobs types… nothing remarkable (actually, they all tend to look exactly the same to me, you would think they would try harder). however, this year, i noticed and interesting trend. in addition to the standard fancy pantsness, there was a disproportionately large amount of ads for more pedestrian (discount even!) chains trying to keep up with the couture.

lots and lots of celebrity designed lines (karadashians for sears? oh lord!), but also just a general attempt to show that dowdy department stores are at least trying a little bit more than usual to keep up in the contemporary fashion marketplace. edgy ad campaigns! more modern shapes!

well, i ripped all the ads out, and decided that i would do a shopping tour of this supposedly affordable high end design. i am most excited for lagerfeld for macys, and french connection for sears, but my initial inspiration came from the very charming (most especially amongst the satin draped airbrushed bone racks that the rest of the ads were schilling) “money can’t buy style” campaign by kmart.

well, it just so happened that was going to augusta this week, where resides one of the last remaining kmarts in maine. also, it is my hometown. Read the rest of this entry »





weekend pickthrough- mail call showdown edition.

27 03 2011

this has been a good couple of weeks for free stuff in the mail. between the soy milk and the cleaning stuff, i also applied for some samples online, which showed up this week. i realized after i wrote that post last week about product testing sites, i had completely left out free sample sites! you may not get full sized products, but i am a sucker for tiny scale models of real products, and they almost always come with a pretty decent value coupon.

this week, i got two sample deliveries- one from target, and one from proctor & gamble (evil i know, but FREE STUFF!). when i originally saw the post for the target beauty bag on my favorite freebie website, i thought it might be a phishing scam. so much awesome stuff for free! my bag arrived a mere one week later.

though not packed with the same goods pictured (where’s my full sized sally hansen nail enamel?), still had some pretty hot shit inside (full sized neutrogena lip balm!). also, it came packaged in the most adorable tiny makeup bag known to man, and had $25 worth of target beauty coupons. and you know what that means… STACKING!! i was blown away.

then, i got my p&g brandsaver… and there was blowing alright, just not the good kind. one tiny sample and two tiny coupons? i hear these stories about people getting all sorts of crazy awesome shit from p&g, but i have never gotten anything good. this was better than the time they sent me a single metamucil packet in a huge box, but not much.

sadly, the target beauty bag is already sold out, but i would recommend finding yourself a freebie listing service so that you have a chance of getting in on the action next time around. i also follow deal seeking pros like hip2save on twitter, who usually have first knowledge of the good shit.

but since you’re probably still really jealous about not getting the beauty bag, here are some links to ease your pain: Read the rest of this entry »





i spy: $.25 socks.

13 03 2011

one of the main benefits of living in a cold state is that the winter merchandise goes on sale before it actually stops being cold. i wandered into target today in hopes up purchasing more leotard appropriate underpants for my show (aaaaaaaaaah thong!), and unearthed some pretty awesome bargains.

if you know me at all, you know that i’m constantly in pursuit of cheap tights (which are virtually impossible to find), as pretty much every pair i own gets instant runs at exactly dog height (mysterious). i do love target tights, but at $5 a pop, they’re a bit pricey for something that is essentially disposable. today, i found a big bin of discount underpants, tights, and socks in the activewear section. i bought 7 pairs of tights marked down to $1.25 each (cheaper than the $1.98 tights at goodwill!), and 3 pairs of short socks for $.25 each!

i also snagged some magic gloves (2 pairs) for for $.75 and a pair of slippers that i’d been coveting since pre-xmas for $2.25 (i knew that if i held out, they would come down!).  oh, and some weird german mascara for $2.

not exactly ground breaking news, but if you happen to be in the target area, and your underwear and/or sock drawer is looking a little scant… it could be good.  oh, and marden’s just got a big shipment of high endy underwear on sale for 70% off. badgley mischka silk g-strings say go. go now.





resolved.

2 01 2011

i was lucky enough to come into a bit of an xmas windfall this year. nothing earth shattering (most of it went to bills and to my saving’s account), BUT i decided to give myself a small allowance to spend on whatever i wanted. DANGEROUS. it could have been anything, or everything… i have a bad habit of burning through cash without really paying attention to where it goes, or really caring too much when it’s gone. i’m all like “oh, that’s was fun”, instead of feeling the intense sense of guilt and shame that keeps most people from getting in financial trouble.

the last year has overall been a good one for my financial evolution. this was the first year in over a decade that i didn’t use my credit cards even once. i also managed to have a savings account with actual money in it for more than 15 minutes. on the other hand, i didn’t pay off my credit cards as much as i would have liked, i didn’t manage to keep the majority of the money in my savings account, and i still didn’t start an HSA.

so for 2011, i have only one resolution. it isn’t to save more, or spend less, pay off the credit cards, or even open an HSA… (although all of those things are certainly worth keeping in mind). my resolution this year is just to PAY ATTENTION. wherever my money travels should take me this year, i would like to be watchful and be thoughtful about every dollar i spend. i’m thinking about leaving my debit card at home, giving myself a cash allowance, being more careful about monitoring my mint account… but it doesn’t really matter what i do, as long as i’m being vigilant.

i decided to lube up my resolution and get started a little early with the aforementioned windfalll. instead of just throwing the money into my checking account and going apeshit on whatever i happened to find first, i sat down and really thought about things that i wanted, needed, and would generally be too cheap or too broke to afford the rest of the year. here is what i came up with: Read the rest of this entry »